Total Pageviews


10-28-17 Still rewriting

The rewriting of Collision Course continues. Not only were the two arcs way out of synch, but the storyline in one of the arcs just wouldn't work. While reading the chapters associated with one of them, I discovered that the characters were not behaving correctly. How did this happen? Probably because I've been working on this for longer than normal and I took longer breaks in between to learn about web programming. My normal time for writing a first draft is about 8 months and this one has been going on for longer than that.

The good news is that in addition to fixing things, I've been adding chapters. That means the word count is going up putting me almost exactly half-way through what I would consider a normal-sized book. Bear in mind, this is only a mystical target that does not have to be reached. I don't add fill-in words just to hit my target. When the book is done, it's done no matter how many words are there.

I am at day two into a three-day weekend and I hope to have things straightened out by Monday. If not, it looks like my wife's schedule will allow me to squeeze in a few more writing days during the week. In the meantime, I've mostly put my website learning on hold until I at least get this book whipped back into shape.


10-17-2017 Rewriting

Many of my novels are written using two or more timelines that eventually converge at some point. Keeping these two timelines synchronized can be a pain in the neck especially if you're a seat of the pants writer like me. That's one reason I bought Aeon Timeline. Unfortunately, I didn't start a timeline when I started work on Collision Course and now I'm paying for that oversight.

About a week and a half ago I discovered that my parallel timelines were way out of sync and I needed to go back and do some serious rewriting. This time, I created a timeline in Aeon Timeline. I'm having to move entire chapters, insert new ones, and cut and paste huge blocks of text to get things to line up. Doing this in Microsoft Word would be a chore especially because I also need to constantly refer to my notes. Scrivener keeps my notes in a window at the bottom of my screen and allows me to simply drag chapters around, move blocks to a holding area, and do all the editing I need.

Additional writing in my novel will not happen until I get the timeline fixed. I'm not sure how long this is going to take especially since my time to write is limited these days.

Also, I'd like to remind anyone who reads this to check out my website and take a look at the Tools page where I've put a bunch of calculations I've found useful when writing science fiction. If you find an error or you would like to see any other calculators added, please let me know.



My science fiction calculation web page is live! This has been a goal of mine for many years and today it's become a reality. When I started writing science fiction, one of the things I prided myself in was trying to keep the science as real as possible. To do this, I built an Excel spreadsheet with all sorts of useful numbers and calculations. I've always wanted to put these calculations and numbers on a website but the old host of my site did not allow me to use JavaScript.

Some time ago, I embarked on a program to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. When I had a workable website up and running on my local PC, I opened an account with a different host and moved my site to them. About two weeks ago, I learned enough about JavaScript to feel confident in building my long awaited calculator page. It went live today.

You can view the site at: Feedback is always welcome.

The entire site has been hand-coded and has been purposefully built to be clean and easy to use. The code is responsive allowing it to display properly on anything from a cell phone to a high-end computer system. I have also used code that should be understandable by almost any browser.




Today was a no writing day. Even though I'm on vacation, I went into work to run the Monthly Performance Report. This report must be completed within the first week of every month. I do the work management portion. It used to take my predecessor three long days to generate the data. I have a computer program that spits out the needed numbers in less than five minutes. The numbers must be transferred to our reporting system and I'm the person designated to enter them. I also attended a short training session I'd signed up for before going on vacation.

As soon as I got home, I began working outside getting the yard ready for winter. Seemed strange though since it was almost 80 degrees outside. But I was on vacation and the work needed to be done.

I did just recently finish reading Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. I highly recommend it. One of the last chapters was on JavaScript. Based on the examples given, I felt confident enough to begin building a web page I've been wanting to build for years--my science fiction calculator. Yesterday, I built the first of the pages and after a few trials and errors managed to get it working. My goal is to have this series of pages ready to be rolled out by the time I'm done with my vacation. That will be a cause for celebration because I've been wanting to put the spreadsheet I've used for many used into the public domain for a long long time.